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Approach change has Drury becoming dangerous hitter for Diamondbacks

Jun 14, 2017, 12:54 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon Drury hits a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers in the third...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon Drury hits a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
LISTEN: Brandon Drury, Diamondbacks second baseman

All it took was an off day in June and time in the batting cage for Brandon Drury to turn around his season.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ infielder told Doug and Wolf on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday that through the first 51 games of the season he wasn’t feeling himself. Because of this, Drury wanted to perfect his craft and hit the batting cage with Diamondbacks’ assistant hitting coach Tim Laker where he decided to change his entire approach to hitting.

“‘Hey I don’t think I’m getting the most out of my ability right now,'” Drury told Laker in the cage. “‘I feel like I can really drive the ball and hit a lot of homers and really be dangerous at the plate and I’m just not doing that.'”

The work in the cage, the change in approach in focusing more on driving the ball has worked well for Drury, as since that June 5 off day, he has batted .391 with four home runs, three doubles and has driven in eight runs.

The Diamondbacks have gone 6-1 in seven games since Drury and Laker met in the batting cage.

“I was just concerned at trying to get base hits,” Drury said of his approach before. “So from here on out for the rest of the season I’m just going to sell out and drive the baseball and get good pitches to hit and I’m going to be dangerous. I’m not going to just try and slap base hits anymore.”

Prior to the adjustment, Drury was hitting .284 with four home runs in 51 games. He had 14 doubles and one triple. For the season he has eight home runs, with 28 RBI and is hitting .296.

However, Drury tends to do most of his damage at home, where in 31 games at Chase Field, he’s batting .370 with six home runs and 19 RBI. Meanwhile in 27 games on the road he has just two home runs.

Drury said there’s not much of a difference of hitting at home or on the road, as he has about the same amount of plate appearances.

“We are past a third of the season and I think sometimes numbers can be inflated if you don’t have a whole bunch of at bats,” he said. “I could get real hot on the road just like I was at home.”

Drury, 24, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 13th round in the 2010 draft and was acquired by the Diamondbacks in January, 2013 in a trade with the Braves that sent Chris Johnson and Justin Upton to Atlanta for Drury, Nick Ahmed, Randall Delgado, Martin Prado and Zeke Spruill.

His current current hot streak has put Drury on pace for 23 home runs, 48 doubles, and 79 RBI — all would be a step forward from last year when he had 16 home runs, 31 doubles and 53 RBI.

It’s also good news for the Diamondbacks as Drury continues to progress into becoming a solid hitter.

“I was so concerned with trying to get a hit on every single pitch the pitcher was going to throw,” he said. “That’s not how you dominate. You really have to sell out what you’re doing and pitches and locations and you really have to be committed to a pitch. You can’t hit all four pitches and all four quadrants of the plate and think you are going to be dangerous in the box.”

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Approach change has Drury becoming dangerous hitter for Diamondbacks